Satellite

Satellite observations provide an important means to monitor vegetation condition dynamics over large areas by providing timely, spatially continuous information at high resolutions. Recent developments have improved satellite's drought monitoring capabilities, particularly regarding the impacts on the seasonal cycle of vegetation growth that includes green-up, maturity, senescence, and dormancy. A collaborative team of scientists from the USGS EROS, Earth Resources Observation Systems, Data Center, the NDMC, and the HPRCC is developing a prototype drought monitoring system that integrates information from climate and satellite databases using data mining techniques (Brown et al., 2002). The goal is to model the relationships between climate-based drought indicators and satellite-derived seasonal vegetation performance using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to produce a timely and spatially detailed drought monitoring product for decision makers at all levels using the Internet as the primary delivery mechanism (http://gis-data.usgs.gov/website/Drought_Monitoring /viewer.asp).

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